Robin van Persie has distanced himself from quotes criticising the conduct of Barcelona and Chelsea players towards referees.Arsenal striker van Persie allegedly told Dutch television station Sport 1 that Chelsea players were ‘always bitching’ to officials, telling his London rivals to ‘shut the f*** up and focus on playing football’.
The 27-year-old – sent off in the Champions League knockout stages against Barcelona – reportedly took aim at the competition’s eventual winners, accusing the La Liga outfit of trying to ‘screw colleagues’ by attempting to get opponents sent off.
On international duty with the Netherlands in Brazil, van Persie denied making the statements through Arsenal’s website on Friday.
“I’m on international duty at the moment but following several reports in the media I think it’s important to clarify some recent comments attributed to me,” he said.
“These reports falsely suggest that I recently made negative comments about Spanish and Chelsea players, I would like to make it perfectly clear that I haven’t done an interview with Sport 1 or any other outlet in recent weeks and I’ve certainly not been rude as the comments suggest.”
“I respect my colleagues of Spain and Chelsea and look forward to playing against them for many years to come. I sincerely hope that all football fans worldwide don’t take these misleading reports seriously.”